If you plan to water ski, it is important to choose the right tow rope. Not all tow ropes that are suitable for tubes/wakeboarding work for water skis. Today’s article will cover everything you need to know about how to choose the best rope for water skiing.
For starters, let’s talk about length.
How long should a water ski rope be?
Ideally, your water ski rope should be around 75 feet. If you are more advanced, your rope should be 60 feet or even shorter. A shorter roped gets you closer to the wake which allows you to pull off more tricks. Shorter ropes also have less drag, which can help you reach higher speeds.
Shorter ropes also allow for higher side to side speed. For slalom skiing, which means skiing with just one ski, people typically use shorter ropes.
How long should water ski handle be?
The handle of your water ski should be around 12 inches. Longer handles can make it easier to do tricks such as spins and switches.
Now that you know the basics, lets check out the best ropes for water skis.
Best water ski rope
The best all-around water ski rope is the KRAKAFAT Water Ski Rope. Other good ropes include the Airehead and RAVE 4-section pro water ski rope.
KRAKAFAT Water Ski Rope- Best overall
The KRAKAFAT is the best water ski rope is the best overall due to its affordability and versatility. Currently, it costs around $50. It has 4 adjustable lengths ranging from 40 feet to 75 feet.
This is great because it allows you to use the rope for knee-boarding and wakeboarding. The 5 foot handle section can also be removed so you can use this rope for tubing as well. If you are a beginner, I suggest using the 75 foot length as it will make it easier to get up on the skis. If you are a beginner, check out my guide on the best water skis for adults.
The rope itself is made out of polyethylene which is treated for UV light which will help prevent fading. The material is also resistant to water which helps prevent the rope from getting water-logged. It is made out of 16 strands, which makes the rope long lasting.
Lastly, the handle is 13 inches long and is covered in a foam material that will keep your hands comfortable. The handle also floats which makes it easier to find in the water.
Airhead Water Ski Rope- Cheapest water ski rope
If you are looking for a cheaper water ski rope, I suggest checking out this one form Airhead. It currently costs around $35.
It is still a quality rope, and is made from 16 strand polypropylene that is UV treated and able to withstand the test of time.
The rope has 3 different length sections (45ft, 60ft, 70ft) which allow you to use the rope for other watersports.
Lastly, the handle is covered in a comfortable textured grip that is soft on the hands. Both the hand and the rope itself float in the water.
RAVE Pro Ski Rope- Best for advanced skiers
If you are an advanced water skier, I suggest you check out the RAVE Pro water ski rope. The rope has the option of four different lengths (45 ft, 55 ft, 65ft, and 75ft). If you ever plan to compete in a water ski competition, it is important to have an adjustable length because many competitions have strict rope length requirements.
The rope has a tension strength of 1,800 pounds, which is more than enough for high speeds and tricks.
The 12 inch handle has a diamond grip covering which is optimal for both grip and comfort. The handle has good buoyancy and easily floats in the water.
How to attach water ski rope
Most boats and jet skis should have a built in pole or handle that you can easily attach the rope to. This should be well above the engine so that the rope doesn’t get sucked into the engine. If you are in the market for a jet ski, you can check out my guide on the best jet skis for water skiing.
If your boat doesn’t have a designated pole, you should attach it to a suitable harness/handle in the back. For boats with an outboard motor, you might have to get a bridle which prevents the rope from getting caught in the engine.
If you plan to use your rope for other water sports or tubing, I suggest you get a rope that has a detachable handle.